It’s been weeks since the breakup, and I haven’t seen a single shadow of her, not even the slightest memory of her comes to mind. She made things clear the last time we talked: she wanted to see other men, and I was happy with her, but I didn’t show any interest in saving the relationship. She said that was the problem; I didn’t show any concern for “us.” I just went through the emotion, and she was certain that our relationship was going nowhere. She ended the relationship that really didn’t faze me. I left the next morning after, of course, sleeping on the couch and waiting until she went to work; we haven’t met since.
It was a beautiful sunny morning; Monday I believe it was. I was feeling sober about the ending of a long two-year relationship, and I didn’t think much of her during my every day course. I walked to my favorite coffee shop, that’s about two blocks from my new apartment that I pay too much for. The warm air bathed my skin and kept me comfortable, and the wind blew against me enough so that I wouldn’t perspire. I had my comfortable clothes on: messy hair under a baseball hat that read New York Yankees, a baseball-tee that had blue sleeves and a white front, black jeans, and my favorite black Nikes.
I was a bachelor and I could get any girl I wanted, Why would I need her anyways? I began to think about her; the first time in two weeks: her brunette hair that had deep long curls, her green eyes that had flex of grey whenever the sun hit them directly, and her smile that she was self-conscious about; an unnoticeable over-lap on her front tooth. It had only been two-weeks since the break-up and already I thought; ‘I’m fucked!’ I imagined myself to be that guy who comes crawling back, soaked in regret and apologizes.
I continued my walk to the coffee shop and I had already made it a block, so for the next block I swore to myself that I wouldn’t think about her. I was going to be free, and she couldn’t change that, but her face started to flash in my thoughts, and I was determined to throw her out. All I have to do is make it to the coffee shop; my sanctuary, and nothing but coffee and a good book could approach me.
I made it to the coffee shop and my worries were gone. I ordered the largest coffee; I was prepared to stay awhile. I sat back in the leather easy chair and waited for my coffee to be ready. She was gone out of my thoughts; I hadn’t thought about a single hair on her head, not even a single smile. I was in my sanctuary, and I was untouchable. Not long after my order was placed, I heard my name called. My coffee was ready for me, and so I picked the coffee up and went back to my leather chair.
I had brought one book to the coffee shop: The Moon Is Down, John Steinbeck. I was by myself, if anyone was in that coffee shop, I didn’t notice. My mind was clear and steady on the book. The smell of roasting coffee beans steamed in the air. The sounds that echoed from customers and employees were dim to nothing. I read quickly and so I mistakenly read the same line twice. It threw me off my meditation, and there she was again: her chameleon eyes, and her deeply curled hair. Mocking me. I turned back to my book and tried to focus on whatever I could. I was failing to stay away from her and so I just gave up.
I sat in the leather chair just staring at the dark wooded coffee table in front of me. My blank face was turning pale, and my coffee had no taste. I felt like I was I thinking without words. I twirled the emotions inside my head to create something to think, something to persuade me to stop, but it was too late. I had lost something great. I let her go without a fight. I ignored every conversation, every fight, every word she said. I gave her an autopilot relationship that required a text per day, a date each weekend, and a good fuck when she wanted, or maybe whenever I wanted.
I got out of my relaxing leather chair and went to the door, my hand nervously shaking while gripping the handle. I was going back to her; I was that guy who comes back soaked in apologizes. Maybe that’s what she wanted, was the sympathy I never gave her. I left the coffee shop with all the courage I had left. I walked back towards my apartments, The Good Living Apartments, what a shitty name.
Her apartment wasn’t far from my new place; my name was still on the least when I left. I by passed my apartments, and about two blocks down in plain sight was my old place. I crossed two lights that had to be green; the world wasn’t being patient with me. It wanted me to go now. I was in the front her apartment; I knew she was there because her car was parked under the dying tree. I walked to the second floor and stood at her door, 12C. I knocked softly; she didn’t answer.
I opened the door softly; pretending it was already open. The living room TV was on; volume too loud. The kitchen light was off as I passed by, and our old bedroom door was cracked open. I nudged the door open and there she was, taking a nap with my old baseball-tee, the sleeves were red and the front was white, she wasn’t alone, my best friend was holding her from behind, his head slightly visible, laying on her shoulder.
I was too late.
Property: Micah Herman